Port Dundas 36 Years Old 1978 – Sovereign Cask #10431

58.7% ABV, £100 for 70cl

Score: 84/100

Port Dundas78HL

What they say:

A well aged, 1978 vintage grain whisky from Port Dundas. The distillery closed in 2010, but there are still casks of their whisky maturing and they sometimes see the light of day thanks to indies like Hunter Laing and their Sovereign range. Old grain can be a wonderful thing, and this is packed with soft fruits and sweet vanilla custard.

Bottled April 2014

What I say:

Another single grain sampled from the Port Dundas distillery, mostly as the latest releases have favoured spirit from this lost distillery. This one is the oldest by far, distilled back in 1978 this has spent a full 36 years maturing in an ex-bourbon cask before being bottled in 2014.

Colour:

Amber gold

Nose:

New paint smell, wood/furniture polish, acetone, corn/maize, sweet honeyed vanilla & beeswax candles

Taste:

Sharp spicy rye flavour, woody oak, mouthfilling and syrupy this has cinnamon and pepper spice with caramel, toffee, treacle toffee, honey and rich (almost to the point of bitter) refined vanilla essence

Finish:

Medium, sweet honeyed oak with some residual spices

Overall:

Despite my initial apprehension on the nose, the spirit notes dissipated quickly leaving a depth of ex-bourbon oak maturation influence. This is what happens when these oak barrels are left for a long, long time. Beautiful aroma’s and flavours of sweet honey, beeswax and vanillins tempered by oaky wood and a little residual spiciness. Here is definitely a single grain expression that is the equal of most single malts.